Screening tenants - possibly one of the most important and cost-effective practices of property management:
Of course, meeting tenants in person is one of the best ways to get to know them, combined with background and reference checks, but what about out-of state tenants moving in, vacation renters, or other situations that make this impossible?
There are several good screening agencies available online, happy to check records for a fee (see some listed below.) Some offer flat rates, while others have an "a la carte" approach to the depth of background investigation desired.
Keep in mind, there are requirements in different states to properly reject a tenant application (adverse action.) Many of these sites provide a letter to keep you in compliance as a bonus.
Also, make a point of calling the past TWO references or more, since the current manager may be willing to say about anything to get rid of a Turkey tenant.
Anyone with experiences with these services, or any you wish to applaud, please feel free to comment, since the better our database of comments, the more effective we can all be in screening our tenants from the chaff.
Thank you for your contributions!